Annie Get Your Gun
|Date||9th November 2019|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Karen Rees Davies|
Author: Lyn Emmerson
A picture of 19th Century American Wild West really came to life with PMA’s production of this lively musical. It is a fun show where everyone can let their hair down and enjoy themselves. It was evident that all the players onstage put their heart and soul into the piece which was very well received by the audience.
The Overture was well presented with some of the main characters entering to a ‘lento’ ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ from the back of the auditorium. The stage eventually filling up with the enthusiastic chorus as the pace of the music increased. There were many creditable performances from experienced players including Sam Highcock as ‘Buffalo Bill Cody’, Jo Greehalgh who took the role of ‘Charlie Davenport’ with ease, and Emily Salisbury as trouble maker ‘Dolly Tate’. This was a production where I felt the more experienced players in the Society encouraged the younger members, also members of the cast making their debut on stage – all good stuff!
The title role of Annie was in the capable hands of Holly Stones. I understand this was Holly’s first major role and she excelled in all tasks. Her singing came over as mature for her age and she was a natural ‘Annie’. Her rapport with her sisters and brother was just the job and the contrast with her opening numbers ‘Doin What Comes Naturally’, ‘I Got the Sun in the Morning’, ‘Can’t Get a Man With a Gun’ and the more tender ‘Moonshine Lullaby’ was a triumph. A good performance from Ellis Griffith Morey as the sharp shooter ‘Frank Butler’, he was a fine foil for ‘Annie’, both scoring points of each other throughout the performance. Ellis coped well with his musical numbers including ‘My Defences Are Down’ with three of the chorus, ‘They Say That Falling in Love’ and in contrast, the very well known ‘Anything You Can Do’ with ‘Annie’ at the end of Act 2. Annie’s brother and sisters were well cast and did all that was required of them, Susie Eastwell, Jessica Dailey, Phoebe Griffith and Finn Eames-Hughes as ‘Nellie’ ‘Jessie’ ‘Minnie’ and ‘Little Jake Oakley’ respectively. Daniel Williams again gave a promising portrayal as ‘Tommy Keeler’ and worked well with Annie Derbyshire as young ‘Winnie Tate’. I particularly enjoyed their ‘ Who Do You Love, I Hope’. Kathryn Williams gave a strong characterisation as ‘Chief Sitting Bull’, together with a convincing portrayal of ‘Pawnee Bill’ from Lyndsay Owen. The chorus fully immersed themselves in the production, many of them doubling up the minor roles throughout, and choreography befitted the American Wild West. Costumes were well chosen and stage crew added another feather to their cap. Great to see the band onstage taking their bows along with the whole Company. Thank you so much for yet another entertaining production.